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Food Waste Update | AMA Waste Blog

July 10th, 2015


Food Waste Update           


We recently wrote a blog post revealing the shocking amount of food that supermarkets waste every week. With Tesco throwing away 55,400 tonnes of food a year, and other nationwide supermarkets discarding a similar amount, time, energy and resources are being wasted. This is not to mention household waste – which in 2012 was calculated to be 4.2 million tonnes of avoidable household food and drink annually.


In AMA Skip Hire’s World Environment Day post, we outlined our dream for the environment – the aim to reduce waste and increase recycling across the nation. It’s upsetting to hear stories of families relying on food banks when so many resources are being thrown away. According to the Trussell Trust, 13m people live below the poverty line in the UK. At AMA we think that food should be going to those that need it most, rather than being thrown carelessly in the bin.


Since we published our blog post about supermarket waste, Tesco have started to make our dream a reality. The supermarket chain recently announced that 300,000 tonnes of its discarded food will go to charity. They have teamed up with food redistribution charity FareShare to hand over unwanted food. This is a really positive step towards decreasing food waste and helping the environment.


Tesco’s plans to give discarded food to those who need it follows in the footsteps of France, where it is now illegal for large supermarkets to throw away food. They are legally obliged to hand it to charities or use it as animal feed.


Here at AMA we’re pleased to hear that a supermarket giant is taking steps to decrease food waste, and we hope that many more will follow their lead. We are committed to environmental issues, and look to recycle as much waste as possible. Our current recycling rate is 85% of waste found in skips, which is good, but we’re always looking for more.


Another Successful Recycling Week

July 2nd, 2015

As you know, last week was all about being thrifty and green with National Recycling Week. We brought you our 5 top recycling tips, and we hope you had fun implementing them at home and at work.

We’ve been keeping a beady eye on what you were all up to during National Recycling Week, and we were pleased to see lots of exciting activities, campaigns and resources out there. Here’s our pick of the best:

10285676_867428953304761_4625167325898725705_oOur friends at came up with a great infographic reporting their findings from a survey about the effectiveness of recycling campaigns. They also asked the participants how education about recycling can be improved:

It seems that lots of us are very wary of what we can and cannot recycle these days, with a third of the participants unsure about 4 or more materials. Many did not know bleach bottles, and spray cleaners are recyclable, in particular. The overall message of the infographic is that focussing on specific materials and ways to recycle is the most effective way of encouraging people to get involved. Cheesy “feel-good messages” were noted as being less engaging. So it seems useful recycling tips are what the people want!

Click here to see the infographic in its full glory or read the full report click here.


Oxford City Council got involved by holding a compost giveaway for its residents. A total of 5 tonnes of compost was given away on Saturday 27th June in Florence Park. All you had to do was rock up with an empty bag and a spade and the compost was yours – well done Oxford!

Other giveaways were held at West Bromwich town centre with fun characters Compost Kid and Captain Recyco giving out free food waste liners and bags for life.  Southampton residents focused on an upcycled fashion theme, with a fashion show featuring only recycled fabrics. Recycled jewellery and other upcycled products were also available to purchase:


Intelligent Hand Dryers UK impressed us with their enterprising offer of taking in business’s energy-inefficient hand dryers, ensuring it’s recycled at an approved WEEE recycling location. They even gave away a £20 voucher towards a new energy efficient hand dryer! Older hand dryers can use to to 30 watts per dry, whereas newer models user under 2 watts.

West Oxfordshire Council decided to let people gets their hands dirty with their rubbish by offering free behind-the-scenes tours of an anaerobic digestion plant. This plant is where food waste is transformed into a liquid fertilizer for use on local farms. As an added green bonus, the electricity generated is completely renewable. Good work!

We hope you all learned something during National Recycling Week, it seems that you must have been living under a damp rock to miss all the events – here’s to next year!

Waste-Free Wednesday in the office this Recycling Week

June 24th, 2015

Is your office guilty of wrongly disposing of waste? Or of creating too much waste unnecessarily? As it’s National Recycling Week, we reckon it’s as good a time as ever to do a little recycling audit. So get yourself a snazzy green hat or badge, nominate yourself as the Recycling Monitor and start saving the planet today!



Waste less paper

Millions of tonnes of copy paper is wasted every year, and it makes us feel a little sad for all the trees. Printing is a necessary evil in everyday office life, but try to be a bit more frugal and avoid printing unnecessarily. Embrace the digital age! A good tip is to make sure your printers are set to print double-sided, which will also save you money on paper costs. When you do end up with reams of spare paper because John the accountant accidentally clicked “print all” on the tax return, why not get a bit creative with it? Turn it into a fun colouring competition, have a paper aeroplane race, or get crafty with some origami for beginners. Instant workforce motivation!


Scrap birthday cards

I don’t know whether it’s just our office, but not a week goes by when we’re having to sign a birthday card and chip in for a gift. Greeting cards are responsible for a big chunk of our paper usage and, as lovely as they are, it’s time we all caught up a bit. We have so much cool technology at our fingertips there’s no need to send a card at all! Why not record a video message on your webcam and send it to their email? Much more interactive than a static card. There are also tonnes and tonnes of free e-cards available on the web, meaning there’s more money to spend on their actual gift. Win-win!


Recycle your printer cartridges – and earn rewards!

Recycling your printer cartridges is a really good idea, as currently only 15% of the 65 million printer cartridges that are sold in the UK are recycled. The rest unfortunately go to landfill. We’re dead against all this plastic and ink lying around, taking up to 1,000 years to finally decompose. Recycling your used printer cartridges is easier than you might think – there are even schemes in some counties that arrange free collection for you. Personally, we love Tesco and their idea of swapping printer cartridges for clubcard points.

Reuse your envelopes

1-2This may seem like something reminiscent of post-war austerity, but it’s surprising how easy it is to save on office supply bills by doing this. All you need to do is stick some labels over the pre-printed address. There are even stickers you can buy to put on the bottom of the envelope explaining that it has been recycled to stop waste. So everyone you do business with will know what a recycling hero you are!


Office compost bin

It’s ‘The Good Life’ (ask your parents)! Just make sure you ask the boss first before embarking on your composting revolution. All you need to do is set up a waste can or lidded bucket in your kitchen, where you can put used tea bags, coffee grounds, vegetables and eggshells. Make sure these are sealed or it might get a bit whiffy. This will need to be emptied daily and added to a main compost bin which is best stored outside. Once you’ve got your office compost, you can all fight over who gets to take it home and use in their garden.


Save rainwater

Yep, just like your nana used to. This is a great idea for rainier climes like the UK. You can use the water for washing windows or watering plants. Or decant them into water pistols and  organise an annual water fight (again, boss permitting).


So what are you waiting for? We’d love to hear all about your waste-saving office escapades, so connect with us on Facebook or Twitter  with all your recycling news!


National Recycling Week 2015 – 22nd-28th June

June 22nd, 2015

Hot on the heels of World Environment Day on June 5th, comes National Recycling Week in the UK – a whole week dedicated to educating people about the benefits of recycling, its effect on the environment and how everyone can get involved.

1-1Every year, National Recycling Week has a theme and this year it’s “recycling around the home.” Here at AMA we’ve talked at length in the past about all the ways you can recycle in your daily life, whether at home, work or in a business your run – and this week is the perfect opportunity to put some of our top tips into practice.

So, to get you in the mood for National Recycling Week and refresh your mind with all the possibilities, here are AMA’s top 5 recycling tips:


  1. You might have your home recycling down, but keep an eye out for the opportunity to reduce, reuse and recycle wherever you go. Whether you’re on a family picnic, at a sporting event, out shopping in the city or even at work – these days recycling bins are never far away, so there’s no excuse to not pitch in. You’d be surprised how much waste events, both big and small, can produce – check out our World Cup 2014 posts for an example.
  2. Everyone knows that there are some things you can’t put in a skip, and even some that can’t be recycled – but the trick is to know exactly what. Knowing what waste can be recycled and making sure that your waste removal company actually does dispose of it properly is key to staying green this week. To find out what you can and can’t put in a skip, take a look at this handy infographic. Remember to hire a skip from a company committed to recycling – here at AMA we aim to recycle over 80% of all the waste we handle.
  3. The time for spring cleaning might have passed, but no matter when you get the urge to clean your house, remember to be green. From disposing of cleaning chemicals in a responsible way to composting garden waste, decorating your bedroom with environmentally-friendly paint and recycling or reusing furniture, there are plenty of ways to tidy up your home and stay green. Read our recent post on spring cleaning to find out more!
  4. One of the easiest ways to ensure that you’re recycling and keeping green this week, no matter what waste clearance you’re up to, is by hiring a skip. By hiring a skip from an environmentally friendly company, just like us here at AMA, you can be sure that as much of your waste is recycled as possible – whether you’re tidying the garden, decorating the house or even building an extension. It might seem a little daunting at first, hiring a skip, but earlier this year we produced a PDF guide giving you some tips to make it simple– click here to read the guide and become a green skip-hiring pro this week.
  5. You might be a recycling pro by now, especially if you follow all of our top tips, but just think of the great impact you can have this week if you involve your friends too! Whether you involve your friends and family, or take a few of your waste-saving and recycling ideas into work with you, this week is the perfect opportunity to indulge in some community spirit and see just how green you can all be. You might even be able to permanently change some of your friends’ recycling habits, helping to make the world a better place long after Recycling Week is over!


So, whether you have need of a skip to recycle on a massive scale, or are just going to recycle your daily waste or even try and introduce a little environmental friendliness to your friends or co-workers – this is the week to get involved.

Recycling is so easy and so accessible that everyone can do it, and no matter how green you think you already are there’s sure to be a few ways you can improve. We’ll be back later this week to take another look at the national recycling effort and to find out a little more about how you can improve recycling in your workplace.


AMA celebrates World Environment Day

June 5th, 2015

5th June has been a fixture in the AMA diary for some time, as it is World Environment Day (WED). Organised by the United Nations, WED aims to encourage people to do something positive for the environment. The theme of this year’s WED is: Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care. People around the globe are making pledges to help the environment, and raise awareness of sustainability issues around the resources we consume and waste, such as water, food, energy and natural resources, for example forests and animal products.

The United Nations is inviting people from all corners of the globe to share their dreams for the environment. Here at AMA we thought we would share one of our goals for the environment with our readers: AMA aim to reduce waste and increase recycling across the nation. We’ve been consciously working to increase the amount of waste recycled from our skips for some time, and are pleased to report recycling rates of 85%. We are committed to sustainability throughout our waste management and skip hire services.


Despite AMA’s best efforts there is still work to be done worldwide. WED reports that global food waste amounts to $750bn, equating to nearly £500bn of food unused. In our blog post about supermarket waste we recently reported that the UK’s supermarkets throw away a combined 300,000 tonnes of food waste every year – a figure that is far too high.

What can be done to counteract increasing food waste figures?

Last month France voted in favour of a landmark law forcing supermarkets to give leftover food to charity. The plan behind this law is to reduce world hunger by getting supermarkets to stop dumping their unwanted food. They’ll go further to reduce waste too – food not fit for consumption will be used for animal feed or compost. Currently supermarkets in the UK throw away tonnes of waste every year, as they face legal action if the food causes illness. However, we can follow the French and work towards reducing as much waste as possible.

There are some easy ways to help the environment this World Environment Day, such as:

  • Turning off electrical products and lights when they’re not being used, saving energy and cutting CO2 emissions
  • Recycle waste, for example glass, cardboard, plastics, and aluminium. If you’re not sure what can go in your recycling bin, check with your local council
  • Wash your clothes the green way – use a warm cycle on your washing machine. Hang your washing outside rather than using a tumble dryer
  • Use a Waste Management and Skip Hire company that cares about the environment. AMA recycles 85% of waste found in skips

How are you marking World Environment Day? Don’t forget to interact with us on Twitter @AMASkips and use the hashtag #7BillionDreams to share your dreams for the environment.

What’s the story behind industrial waste?

April 24th, 2015

It may not come as a surprise to learn that industry is the top producer of waste in developed countries. There is a high amount of material rendered useless during manufacturing processes. Much of this could be reused or recycled, apart from hazardous waste, which requires proper disposal.


A large proportion of industrial waste is hazardous, because industrial processes often involve chemicals. Is your industry one of the highest producers of toxic waste? Look below to find out:


Waste created by building sites:

The construction industry, specifically building sites, is the UK’s largest user of natural resources and produces huge amounts of waste. Whether you’re a commercial builder working on a housing estate, or just having an extension on your kitchen, you should consider what you’re doing with leftover materials.


Every year on building sites:

  • 400 million tonnes of material is used
  • 100 million tonnes of waste is produced
  • 25 million tonnes of construction waste is disposed to landfill
  • 13% of construction products end in a skip as waste product without ever being used, with a market value of approximately £1.5 billion each year.


The amount of waste produced by building sites makes up more than one-third of the UK’s annual waste. This figure has gone up from 2008 when building sites created 109m tonnes of construction waste. AMA is dedicated to helping the environment and we recycle as much waste as possible.


These figures are for traditional waste, from site clearance, construction and road works. Here at AMA we wondered how the figures would change if we took into account the stereotypical builders diet of bacon rolls and a brew. We got in touch with an industry insider who gave us some figures.




That means the average builder creates 21.48kg of waste a year, not including any extra snack wrappings or newspapers they may throw away. It might not sound like a huge amount but it’s the equivalent weight of a fully-grown poodle!


Construction waste

Construction waste can be defined as anything generated as a result of construction and then abandoned, regardless of whether it has been processed or stockpiled. It includes surplus materials from site clearance, excavation, construction, refurbishment, renovation, demolition and road works. Some of these materials can contain lead, asbestos or other hazardous substances, but others can be recycled. Below is a guide about what you should be recycling and reusing:


  • Wood waste can be shredded to create fibre and chip board as long as it is uncontaminated
  • Concrete and tarmac can be treated to create high quality aggregates
  • Plastic can be recycled if they are segregated to avoid contamination.
  • Excavated material and rubble can be crushed and reused
  • Drainage arisings can be used in engineering fill/landscaping
  • Leftover Paint can be mixed and used as undercoat
  • Return, sell or donate unused and salvaged materials


The world of waste management can be a confusing one, but AMA’s team of dedicated, knowledgable staff are here to help. We are ready to clear your site, whether large or small, of all waste, and will dispose of everything we collect in the most responsible manner. Our team has extensive experience of working with a variety of customers to ensure that their expectations are always met and frequently exceeded.


Why not call us today on 0845 4638 437 to learn more about skip hire and site clearances that we can carry out, or to arrange a visit from our expert team?





The AMA Spring Cleaning Guide

April 7th, 2015

Winter is over, the frosts are melting and the leaves are on the trees – or at least, that’s what’s supposed to be happening.

Whether the weather pulls through or not, it’s nearly Easter, which mean’s its time to throw open the windows, let a spring breeze blow away the winter cobwebs and to set about some spring cleaning.

From tidying the garden and clearing out the shed, to painting a bedroom or refurbishing the house, spring cleaning comes in all shapes and sizes – but whatever you’ve got planned, there’s sure to be some post-Christmas clutter needs shifting.

So, grab the bin bags, pick up your paintbrush and follow AMA’s guide to spring cleaning.


Your To-Do List

If you’re like us, you’ve got a long list of tasks that you want, or more likely need, to get done. But with the spring air in your lungs and brighter evenings on the horizon, who really wants to be stuck inside cleaning? Here’s our short list of the key jobs you can get done quickly, so we can all get back to enjoying spring:



  • Cleaning windows – Start small and easy with a bit of gentle window cleaning (exciting, we know) With just a little elbow grease, and a dash of help from a window cleaner, your windows, doors and frames will soon be the envy of the neighbourhood, and will let in just a little bit more of that morning sunshine.
  • Carpets – Another one for the whole house – although it’s hard, hands and knees type work, cleaning your carpets can have a very noticeable effect. Dirt, dust, food and all sorts of stains build up on your floors over time, and giving them a thorough clean can do your home the world of good. Many shops rent out carpet cleaning machines, which can be a relatively cheap way of getting the job done quickly.
  • Furniture – You probably, hopefully, do a bit of dusting all year round, but spring is the perfect opportunity to really knock the cobwebs from your house. Rearranging furniture, or buying new items, can also help to quickly give your home a new look in time for spring.
  • Paint – Both inside and outside, cracking open a pot of paint is a surefire way of giving your home a fresh new look for the new year. From decorating a bedroom or bathroom to painting the front of your house or recoating the fence, a dash of paint is an important part of the spring refresh.
  • Garden – Speaking of your garden fence, gardens in general often go neglected over the winter months (it is pretty cold out there, after all), and spring is the perfect opportunity to spruce things up. Mowing the lawn, trimming the trees and pruning the plants will make your garden into somewhere enjoyable to sit out in the springtime air. Remember to clear out all the leaves and moss from your gutters too whilst you’re out there!

Your annual spring clean is also the perfect time to check all of the alarms in your home. Replace the batteries in smoke detectors, burglar alarms and any other devices too as you go around the house to help keep your family safe.


Removing The Rubbish

shutterstock_94554349Spring cleaning, especially if done thoroughly, can produce a lot of waste. At a time when local councils are more prohibitive than ever about what they can accept during waste collection, it can be a struggle to dispose of all of your household waste.

Skip hire is one of the simplest ways of clearing away spring cleaning waste. Forget multiple expensive trips to the local dump and falling foul of council regulations, by booking a skip you can clear out your whole house in one go, and have it taken away by us on the same day. Plus with our next day service and nationwide delivery, we can even cater to cleaning at short notice.

Furniture big and small, garden waste and general household clutter can all be disposed of in a skip – the only real limits are on hazardous chemicals. Check out one of our previous blog posts to find out exactly what can and can’t be put into a skip or call 0845 4638 437 to speak to our team.

How much waste do Easter eggs produce?

April 3rd, 2015

This Easter, as children and adults around the UK excitedly tear open and eat their Easter eggs, perhaps the last thing on their minds will be how much waste they’re producing. With over 90million eggs being sold each year in the UK, business is booming for big chocolate companies, but until very recently the environment was paying a heavy price for all of our indulgence.

shutterstock_175742303The peak of Easter egg wastefulness was back around 2009-2012, and at the time it was estimated that a mere 38% of what consumers bought was egg, the rest was packaging. A staggering 3,000 tonnes of waste was produced each year just by Easter egg packaging, but consumers, businesses and the government managed to bring about a change in the way we buy chocolate.


Cutting Easter Egg Waste

In 2008, the polling think-tank Ipsos MORI ran a public poll around what people thought about packaging – whether there was too much of it around, how difficult they found it to dispose of, etc.

Surprisingly, Easter eggs were ranked top by consumers of the most over-packaged food, with 59% saying so, and the poll also revealed that, even then, recycling was an important consideration for many. With the numbers highlighting the concerns of the public, and the rising trend of recycling and ‘green’ business, companies were finally pushed to cut down on the extravagance of Easter egg packaging.

A few years on, and the waste around Easter eggs is now far less than it was five years ago, and even the most expensive eggs on the high street are now more likely to come in standard cardboard boxes than the hard plastic cases that they used to.shutterstock_129505022

When the changes were first announced, Nestlé made its packaging 100% recyclable, with many other big brands following suit, whilst all the major companies have made reductions of up to 50%. What packaging remains on the eggs is now usually widely recyclable too, making the holiday even greener.


How To Be Green This Easter

Even with the reduction in packaging around Easter eggs, it’s still easy to end up with a big pile of boxes and plastic – especially so for families with children.

To help deal with the extra waste at Easter, many supermarkets now have special bins in their stores that accept Easter egg packaging, guaranteeing that it will be recycled. This is especially useful as many local council’s bin collection services are disrupted at Easter due to bank holidays, which can leave household bins overflowing.

As most of us have recycling bins at home now, there’s no excuse not to recycle all of your Easter waste – even if the local supermarket doesn’t accept it. For those of you who are really overindulging this year, or just looking to do a little spring cleaning and house clearance at the same time, AMA’s skip hire services can lend a helping hand.


Starting a Construction Company

April 1st, 2015

If you’ve ever thought about starting a construction company, we understand that turning your dream into reality can be tough. We’ve learnt some important lessons about business since we set up AMA, and wanted to share them with our readers.

AMA Skip Hire has created a guide about how to start a building company, including important information about all parts of your business. The AMA Guide to Starting a Construction Company includes:

  • Tips on writing your business plan
  • The construction regulations you’ll need to know
  • The benefits of joining the CCS
  • Finding a base for your business
  • Waste management options for businesses.

You can find the guide to starting a construction company here.

AMA specialise in prompt and professional skip hire for both commercial and domestic customers. We offer a variety of skip sizes for hire across the UK, as well as other waste management options. Whether yours is a new or established business, AMA can help with your skip hire needs today.

Give us a call on 01733 860 690 or visit for our full range of options.

Starting A Construction Company

Business waste made easy

March 6th, 2015

Waste management for businesses can seem like a minefield at times. Trying to comply with industry regulations, be environmentally friendly and choose an affordable waste management option is time-consuming.

Here at AMA Waste we wanted to make businesses aware that disposing of rubbish doesn’t have to be complicated. We’ve made a simple flow chart to demonstrate how easy it is to use our services for hazardous, construction, garden and general domestic waste.




Don’t worry if your waste doesn’t fit into one of the four categories at the top. Either pick the one most similar to your industry material, or get in touch with our knowledgable team of waste management experts who will be able to recommend a solution for your business.

We recycle over 80% of waste found in skips so you can be sure that your waste management programme is environmentally friendly. Check out the full range of services we offer, such as skip hire, hazardous waste removal and container hire, or fill in a contact form at Alternatively, give us a call on 0845 4757 934 and we’ll be able to give you advice on the service that suits your needs.


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